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Become A Personal Lines Underwriter

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Working As A Personal Lines Underwriter

  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Processing Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $127,257

    Average Salary

What Does A Personal Lines Underwriter Do

Insurance underwriters decide whether to provide insurance and under what terms. They evaluate insurance applications and determine coverage amounts and premiums.

Duties

Insurance underwriters typically do the following:

  • Analyze information stated on insurance applications
  • Determine the risk involved in insuring a client
  • Screen applicants on the basis of set criteria
  • Evaluate recommendations from underwriting software
  • Contact field representatives, medical personnel, and others to obtain further information
  • Decide whether to offer insurance
  • Determine appropriate premiums and amounts of coverage

Underwriters are the main link between an insurance company and an insurance agent. Insurance underwriters use computer software programs to determine whether to approve an applicant. They take specific information about a client and enter it into a program. The program then provides recommendations on coverage and premiums. Underwriters evaluate these recommendations and decide whether to approve or reject the application. If a decision is difficult, they may consult additional sources, such as medical documents and credit scores.

Underwriters analyze the risk factors appearing on an application. For instance, if an applicant reports a previous bankruptcy, the underwriter must determine whether that information is relevant to the current policy. The underwriter would consider how far in the past the bankruptcy occurred and how the applicant’s financial situation has changed since the applicant filed for bankruptcy.

Insurance underwriters must achieve a balance between risky and cautious decisions. If underwriters allow too much risk, the insurance company will pay out too many claims. But if they don't approve enough applications, the company will not make enough money from premiums.

Most insurance underwriters specialize in one of three broad fields: life, health, and property and casualty. Although the job duties in each field are similar, the criteria that underwriters use vary. For example, for someone seeking life insurance, underwriters consider age and financial history. For someone applying for car insurance (a form of property and casualty insurance), underwriters consider the person’s driving record.

Within the broad field of property and casualty, underwriters may specialize even further, into commercial (business) insurance or personal insurance. They may also specialize by the type of policy, such as insuring automobiles, boats (marine insurance), or homes (homeowners’ insurance).

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How To Become A Personal Lines Underwriter

Employers prefer to hire candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. However, insurance-related work experience and strong computer skills may be enough. Certification is generally necessary for advancement to senior underwriter and underwriter manager positions.

Education

Most firms prefer to hire applicants who have a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business, finance, economics, and mathematics are particularly helpful.

Training

Beginning underwriters usually work as trainees under the supervision of senior underwriters. Trainees work on basic applications and learn the most common risk factors. As they gain experience, they become responsible for more complex applications and work independently.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Employers often expect underwriters to become certified through coursework. Courses are important for keeping current with new insurance policies and for adjusting to new technology and changes in state and federal regulations. Certification is often necessary for advancement to senior underwriter and underwriter management positions. Many certification options are available.

For underwriters with at least 3 years of insurance experience, The Institutes offer the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation. For beginning underwriters, The Institutes offer a training program.

The Institutes also offer two special designations: Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) and Associate in Personal Insurance (API). To earn either the AU or API designation, underwriters complete a series of courses and exams that generally take 1 to 2 years.

The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors offers an introductory course in basic insurance concepts: the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF). The American College of Financial Services offers the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) certification.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Underwriters must be able to evaluate information from a variety of sources and solve complex problems.

Decisionmaking skills. Underwriters must consider the costs and benefits of various decisions and choose the appropriate one.

Detail oriented. Underwriters must pay attention to detail, because each individual item on an insurance application can affect the coverage decision.

Interpersonal skills. Underwriters need good communication and interpersonal skills because much of their work involves dealing with other people, such as insurance agents.

Math skills. Determining the probability of losses on an insurance policy and calculating appropriate premiums require mathematical ability.

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Personal Lines Underwriter Videos

Carly: Personal Lines Underwriter

Meagan: Personal Lines Underwriter

Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU 500)

Personal Lines Underwriter Jobs

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Personal Lines Underwriter Career Paths

Personal Lines Underwriter
Commercial Underwriter Account Executive Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Owner Real Estate Agent Insurance Sales Agent
Agency Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Office Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Billing Specialist Claims Representative
Claims Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Representative Claims Representative
Claims Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Service Representative Client Service Specialist
Client Relations Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Claims Representative Account Executive Territory Sales Manager
Commercial Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Commercial Lines Underwriter
Commercial Lines Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Claims Representative Accounts Receivable Specialist Assistant Controller
Controls Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Underwriter Assistant Vice President Office Manager
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Underwriting Manager Assistant Vice President Risk Manager
Risk And Insurance Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Underwriting Manager Risk Manager Safety Manager
Risk Management Consultant
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Underwriter Underwriting Manager Assistant Vice President
Risk Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Underwriter Claims Adjuster
Senior Claims Adjuster
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Service Representative Claims Representative
Senior Claims Representative
5 Yearsyrs
Underwriter Mortgage Underwriter
Senior Underwriter
8 Yearsyrs
Commercial Lines Underwriter Senior Underwriter
Underwriting Consultant
9 Yearsyrs
Commercial Underwriter Commercial Lines Underwriter Senior Underwriter
Underwriting Director
9 Yearsyrs
Underwriter Senior Underwriter
Underwriting Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Personal Lines Underwriter Demographics

Gender

Female

55.1%

Male

43.3%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

63.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

3.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.5%

Carrier

13.2%

Chinese

2.6%

German

2.6%

Cantonese

2.6%

Occidental

2.6%

Mandarin

2.6%

Tagalog

2.6%

Russian

2.6%

Korean

2.6%

Hmong

2.6%

Italian

2.6%
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Personal Lines Underwriter Education

Schools

Illinois State University

10.5%

University of Phoenix

9.6%

California State University - Sacramento

7.0%

Liberty University

7.0%

Central Connecticut State University

6.1%

Georgia State University

5.3%

University of Missouri - Columbia

5.3%

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

4.4%

Michigan State University

4.4%

University of Northern Iowa

4.4%

Central Michigan University

4.4%

Villanova University

3.5%

Texas State University

3.5%

University of Florida

3.5%

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

3.5%

University of Iowa

3.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.5%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.5%

Eastern Connecticut State University

3.5%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.5%
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Majors

Business

36.9%

Insurance

8.7%

Finance

6.2%

Psychology

5.6%

Accounting

4.9%

Marketing

4.3%

Criminal Justice

3.9%

Management

3.9%

Economics

2.9%

Political Science

2.9%

Education

2.7%

Communication

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

English

2.1%

Nursing

1.9%

Public Administration

1.9%

Law

1.7%

Human Resources Management

1.6%

Management Science

1.4%

Project Management

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.5%

Other

21.5%

Masters

12.5%

Associate

9.4%

Certificate

3.9%

License

2.1%

Diploma

1.3%

Doctorate

0.9%
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Personal Lines Underwriter Videos

Carly: Personal Lines Underwriter

Meagan: Personal Lines Underwriter

Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU 500)

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Real Personal Lines Underwriter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Specialty Lines Underwriter BRIT Insurance Services USA, Inc. Chicago, IL Mar 01, 2010 $105,227
Specialty Lines Underwriter Hiscox Insurance Services Inc. Miami, FL Jan 29, 2016 $75,000
Personal Line Underwriter Aegis Services Corp. NY Sep 06, 2015 $61,212
Specialty Lines Assistant Underwriter West Bend Mutual Insurance Company Middleton, WI Jul 28, 2014 $40,133

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Top Skills for A Personal Lines Underwriter

  1. Personal Lines Business
  2. Underwriting Guidelines
  3. Insurance Policies
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage financial performance of a $33 million book of high net worth personal lines business throughout New England.
  • Reviewed risk acceptability to make subjective decisions based on underwriting guidelines; ensuring standards for state compliance regulations were met.
  • Review personal lines insurance policies to determine eligibility and ensure proper rating.
  • Managed book of Property/WC/Auto/Umbrella business for retention and new business goals in assigned underwriting territory, Fuel Oil Dealer Program.
  • Completed Continuous Improvement training/ White Belt Certified Personal Lines Customer Service Representative.

How Would You Rate Working As a Personal Lines Underwriter?

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Top Personal Lines Underwriter Employers

Jobs From Top Personal Lines Underwriter Employers

Personal Lines Underwriter Videos

Carly: Personal Lines Underwriter

Meagan: Personal Lines Underwriter

Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU 500)

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